Highlights: DC Independent Film Festival

Colossal flops such as "John Carter" and surprise hits like "The Blair Witch Project" prove there's little correlation between budget and quality. Filmmakers working on a shoestring meet financial constraints with imagination, which can have incredible results and even spawn new genres. Just look at the endless stream of found footage horrors.


"Camera Shy" by writer-director Mark Sawers. Image courtesy of DC Independent Film Festival.

For a dose of worthwhile indie films in Washington, look no further than the DC Independent Film Festival, which spotlights documentaries, dramas and more from around the world. Screenings were supposed to begin tonight, but weather got in the way, which gives you one extra day to ponder what you want to see.

Read on for a look at some of the films on the docket, plus trailers.

Here are five words that might grab your attention: "The Kids in the Hall." The hilarious Canadian sketch comedy group-turned-TV show featured Dave Foley and Scott Thompson, plus direction from Mark Sawers, the writer-director of "Camera Shy." The dark comedy follows a corrupt Canadian politician, who's hounded by a tenacious cameraman.

Musicians' lives are rarely the glittering, candy-coated reality of a Katy Perry tour. Traveling from town to town, playing endless shows and sleeping on living room floors is exhausting. The band Los Ginger Ninjas embrace that lifestyle, and then some. They traded in the van for bicycles, pedaling 5,000 miles, with their instruments and a human-powered sound system, to perform 100 shows in California and Mexico. Director Sergio Morkin documented their journey in "Los Ginger Ninjas." (The screening, originally set for tonight, has been moved to Monday at 6:30 p.m.)

An impressive lineup of animated shorts rounds out the offerings, with everything from "The Cold Heart," a cautionary fable from Germany, to "Fatal Vittles," a musical account of inedible objects, in alphabetical order. On the darker (though admittedly more colorful) end of the spectrum is Bastien Belvaux's French film "Arcane," about a man who doesn't fit into a sinister -- and geometric -- world.

Flipping through stations while driving down the highway, you may have asked yourself why radio is so terrible these days. Filmmaker Kevin McKinney wondered the same thing, and he got to the bottom of it in "Corporate FM," a documentary about the ramifications of the Telecom Act.

Washington-area native Stephanie Merry covers movies, theater and art for Weekend and the Going Out Guide. She’s also the section’s de facto expert on yoga, gluten-free dining and bicycle commuting.
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Alex Baldinger | March 6, 2013